World Tuberculosis Day 2023 aims to encourage leadership, increased investments, faster uptake of new WHO recommendations, adoption of innovations, accelerated action, and collaboration to combat the TB epidemic. This year is critical, with opportunities to raise visibility and political commitment at the 2023 UN High-Level Meeting on TB. WHO will issue a call to action with partners to accelerate the rollout of shorter all-oral treatment regimens for drug-resistant TB. World TB Day is observed on 24 March, marking the day in 1882 when the bacterium causing TB was discovered.
According to the new WHO progress report, “Global report on neglected tropical diseases 2023”, Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) continue to disproportionately affect the poorest members of the global community, primarily in areas where water safety, sanitation and access to health care are inadequate. Around 1.65 billion people were estimated to require treatment for at least one NTD. However, progress is being made, by the end of 2022, 47 countries had eliminated at least one NTD and more countries were in the process of achieving this target.
5 billion people globally remain unprotected from harmful trans fat, increasing their risk of heart disease and death, a new status report from WHO has found. “Trans fat has no known benefit, and huge health risks that incur huge costs for health systems,” said WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros A. Ghebreyesus. “By contrast, eliminating trans fat is cost effective and has enormous benefits for health. Put simply, trans fat is a toxic chemical that kills, and should have no place in food. It’s time to get rid of it once and for all.”
Industrially produced trans fat (trans-fatty acids) is commonly found in packaged foods, baked goods, cooking oils and spreads. Globally, trans fat intake is responsible for up to 500 000 premature deaths each year. In 2023, WHO recommends countries focus on: adopting best-practice policy, monitoring and surveillance, healthy oil replacements and advocacy. WHO guidance helps countries make rapid advances in these areas.
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are widespread in the world’s poorest regions, where water safety, sanitation and access to health care are less than optimal. NTDs affect over 1 billion people and are caused by a variety of pathogens including viruses, bacteria, parasites, fungi, and toxins. These diseases are “neglected” because they are almost absent from the global health agenda, receive little funding and are associated with stigma and social exclusion. This World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day join us to act and invest in eradication of NTDs.
Young people should be at the heart of decisions that impact their lives and health. WHO has therefore established the WHO Youth Council, a newly set up mechanism for meaningful engagement to provide direct advice to the Director-General. Its members consist of international youth organizations that will meet for the first time in Geneva on 27 January. The meeting will solidify the council’s working plans and structure. The Youth Council is a dynamic network that will amplify the voices and experiences of young people, and leverage their expertise, energy and ideas to promote public health.
WHO’s 75th anniversary year is an opportunity to look back at public health successes that have improved quality of life during the last seven decades. It is also an opportunity to motivate action to tackle the health challenges of today and tomorrow.
WHO reports on children’s chances of survival in 2021 - an estimated 5 million children died before their fifth birthday and another 2.1 million children and youth aged 5–24 years lost their lives.
Alisson Becker, goalkeeper for Brazil and WHO Goodwill Ambassador, urges people around the world to be active and play their part to make health for all the number one goal. Universal health coverage ensures that everyone can access the support they need to be and stay healthy without being driven into financial hardship. Learn more about what WHO is doing to build a healthy future for all.
On the eve of the semi-finals of the FIFA World Cup, WHO teams up with Didier Drogba and other international football icons to urge action by governments and people across the world to achieve health for all.
Eating healthy helps us all score for health.
FIFA and WHO launched the #BringTheMoves challenge, encouraging players at the FIFA World Cup 2022™ to meet the celebration challenges presented to them on social media by fans across the globe and encourage youngsters to #BeActive.
The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims 2022 (20 November) puts the spotlight on justice. Traffic law enforcement, thorough investigation after a crash to assess if a crime was committed and to prevent recurrence, criminal prosecution where appropriate and civil compensation are all part of the justice system. When carried out seriously, fairly and consistently, such a system would protect road crash victims and their families from negligence or law-breaking. The system is also intended as prevention, by building on lessons learnt from past tragedies to not repeat them.